WASHINGTON (March 31, 2021) — In 2019, Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans were severely underrepresented in the health care workforce, a trend that shows limited signs of improvement, according to a study published today by George Washington University researchers.
“Our findings suggest that Blacks, Latinos and other people of color have been left behind when it comes to the health professions,” Edward Salsberg, senior research scientist and co-director of the Health Workforce Diversity Tracker project at the GW Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity, said. The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity is based at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Salsberg, who is the lead author, said the study is one of the first to measure the representation of Blacks, Latinos and other minorities in the current workforce and compare it to the diversity of the future workforce across health professions. The findings are important because minority health professionals play a critical role in efforts to reduce the disproportionate burden of diseases, including COVID-19, among communities of color.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans are significantly underrepresented in U.S. health professions, with little indication that diversity will improve, a new study says.
In 2019, Black people made up about 12.1% of the U.S. workforce, but their representation in 10 health professions studied ranged from 3.3% for physical therapists to 11.4% for respiratory therapists.
"Our findings suggest that Blacks, Latinos and other people of color have been left behind when it comes to the health professions," said lead author Edward Salsberg, co-director of the Health Workforce Diversity Tracker project at George Washington University's Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity in Washington, D.C. He spoke in a university news release.
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A new study from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health has found a severe lack of diversity in the health care workforce, a problem that, according to researchers, could worsen health disparities for minorities.
The study relied on publicly available data from the American Community Survey and the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data Systems to estimate the current racial and ethnic profiles of 10 health professions. Results found that in 2019 Black, Latino and Native American people were severely underrepresented in the health care workforce.
Over the next month, 209 U.S. counties in the United States will need to implement crisis workforce strategies to deal with potentially dangerous shortfalls of intensive care unit doctors, according to a new analysis published today. The analysis draws on data from a just launched county-level hospital workforce estimator, one that takes into account the strain on staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read full press release here.